Arvind Sharma

in Modern Hindu Thought

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780195676389
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081974 | DOI:

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Māyā is a philosophical concept often invoked in modern Hinduism to explain the relationship between the universe and the ultimate reality. It conveys a sense of mystery and is suggestive of illusionism, an association from which modern Hinduism detaches itself. Writing under the rubric of māyā, Mahatma Gandhi states that ‘Joy or what men call happiness may be a dream in a fleeting and transitory world...but we cannot dismiss the suffering of our fellow creatures as unreal and thereby provide a moral alibi for ourselves’. Ramana Maharsi, expressing his views about the universe as a dream, argues that from the point of view of jnana or the reality, one must serve the world selflessly despite the fact that it may be māyā or like a dream or illusion at least from the standpoint of the jnānì. However, S. Radhakrishnan seems to disagree with Maharsi.

Keywords: māyā; Hinduism; universe; reality; dream; mystery; suffering; illusionism; Ramana Maharsi; S. Radhakrishnan

Chapter.  2349 words. 

Subjects: Hinduism

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